Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is coming up (September 24 – October 1) and there are events and “read-outs” are being planned all over the country. Here is information from the NYCLU about events happening in our area in Albany, Schenectady, and Troy.

Last year you were asked to read excerpts from you favorite banned book at our annual banned book event in Albany and/or Troy.  You all graciously agreed, but some of you could not fit the date in your schedule.

This year we have scheduled a reading at the Fulton Street Gallery, 406 Fulton Street, Troy for Friday, September 30 at 6 pm as part of Troy Night Out.  We would love to have you read again if you are available.  You can read from the same text as last year, or choose a new one!  There are enough banned materials to go around.  If you can help us out and would like to know what was banned this year visit the ala web site and pick your book!

Please let me know as soon as possible if you are able to participate in Troy.

We are hosting two other events as well in Albany on Thursday, September 29 at 6 pm at the University Club, 141 Washington Avenue and in Schenectady on Sunday, September 25 at 2 pm at the Schenectady County Public Library, 99 Clinton Street.  These two events have already scheduled readers, but we invite you to attend and enjoy them.

Thanks!  Looking forward to hearing from you!  Melanie

“Through litigation, advocacy and public education, we strive to ensure that the civil liberties guaranteed to all of us by the Constitution are not infringed by the government or private individuals.”

Melanie Trimble, Chapter Director
New York Civil Liberties Union Capital Region Chapter
90 State Street, Suite 518, Albany, New York 12207
(518) 436-8594  |  (518) 426-9341 (fax)
mtrimble@nyclu.org
www.nyclu.org/regions/capital

Banned Books Week began in 1982 as a way to celebrate the 1st Amendment and the freedom of everyone to read the written word. Here is some information from the American Library Association website.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Intellectual freedom—the freedom to access information and express ideas, even if the information and ideas might be considered unorthodox or unpopular—provides the foundation for Banned Books Week.  BBW stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints for all who wish to read and access them.

The books featured during Banned Books Week have been targets of attempted bannings.  Fortunately, while some books were banned or restricted, in a majority of cases the books were not banned, all thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, booksellers, and members of the community to retain the books in the library collections.  Imagine how many more books might be challenged—and possibly banned or restricted—if librarians, teachers, and booksellers across the country did not use Banned Books Week each year to teach the importance of our First Amendment rights and the power of literature, and to draw attention to the danger that exists when restraints are imposed on the availability of information in a free society.

Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; the American Library Association; American Society of Journalists and Authors; Association of American Publishers; and the National Association of College Stores.  It is endorsed by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2011, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Council of Teachers of English; and PEN American Center also signed on as sponsors.

For more information on getting involved with Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read, please see Calendar of Events, Ideas and Resources, and the new Banned Books Week site. You can also contact the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 4220, or bbw@ala.org.